previous next
[5] force, until in an emergency reinforcements could arrive; but south and east of Petersburg, Lee kept his main army, and here he relied for defence on men rather than works, though here also the fortifications were elaborate and formidable.

When the national forces crossed the James, in June, and Smith advanced against Petersburg, although Beauregard came up in time to save the town, the defences on the south and east were captured. Breastworks were thrown up in the night, in rear of the former position, and these were held until Lee's army arrived; but the original works were never regained. For about a mile and a half the new rebel line followed a ridge a quarter of a mile outside the town, and was made exceedingly strong. At intervals of two or three hundred yards, or more, according to the nature of the ground, were batteries, thrown forward as salients, and traced originally either as bastions, demi-bastions, or lunettes. These were united by a line of parapet running from the flank of one to that of the next; ditches were dug along the entire front, and two and sometimes three rows of chevaux de frise and other obstructions were laid. The batteries in time became elaborate forts, the profile was strengthened, they gave each other good flanking fire, and the approach was everywhere commanded. They were generally armed with Napoleon guns and small columbiads, many of the latter taken from arsenals of the United States at the beginning of the war, by men who wore the uniform of the government they betrayed; others came from the Richmond foundries.

Behind this main line was still another parapet

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert E. Lee (2)
A. J. Smith (1)
Beauregard (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: